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Thursday 30 March 2017

Wakehurst Revisited

So, Four Go To Wakehurst continues ...

Wakehurst Place is the famous Kew Garden's country estate with formal and ornamental gardens, woodlands, wildlife and a nature reserve. It is also home to the Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world, where some 80 million seeds are stored at any given time.  Or maybe it was 80 billion.  I dunno.  A bloomin' big number, anyway.
It has a vital mission to conserve 25% of the world’s plant species by 2020 and is working with partners in Africa to create a green wall of forestry to improve soil stability.  Amazing stuff!

I met up with Anna in the gardens' shop of course, where she was busying herself with a recce of what was on offer, ready to pick up when we left.   Most organised, is this lady.

From shop to seed - we moved swiftly along on to the seed bank.

I never knew seeds could be quite so beautiful.  In colour.

In their shape.  Their pompon-ness.  Their size. 
The pineconey things only seed after the earth has been scorched.

We were able to see the scientists at work with their seeds, today's seeds being honeysuckle and rowan.
Seeds are stored at a temperature 11 times colder that our home freezers!

The estate is wonderful to stroll through, so many trees, silver birch, sequoia, triffids.  Here's a game for you, spot the fake triffids -  I snapped them before I realised that I've been fooled by those before!

Rhoddies were out, in reds and whites.  I think at this stage we were in the Himalayan gardens.

Indigenous wildlife was enjoying the sunny day.

Lots of birdies.  A bear stuck in a totem pole.

Carp enjoying their pretty lake home.

Spring is bustin' out in the plant world.  Gunnera.  Some yellow thing.


More rhoddies.  I love em.   So blousy, yet ethereal.

And here's Wakehurst Place.

The large pointy tree to the right is a sequoia, Europe's largest I think.  It is lit up at Christmas time.  It's lights can be seen from France.  That's a bloomin' distance.  My Christmas lights in the lounge can barely seen from the dining room!

A few rooms are open to the public.  And in the dining area I thought The Photographer had laid on a surprise party for me.  But no, the mansion was hosting a wedding reception later that day.

Then we drifted through the estate's shop where Anna's recce paid off as her purchases were made with lightening speed.  We discussed purchases on  the way to our cars.  We discussed the styling of her new cut offs.  Little styling could be applied to my two fridge magnets.

I hope you enjoyed your walk around Kew Garden's country estate and seed bank.
I bet you're ready for a bite of lunch and a nice crisp pinot grigio, eh?  We were!

A la perchoine.


  1. I love all things nature, flowers and birdies!! How beautiful!!

    1. Aw thanks, Andrea, glad you enjoyed the day out with us!

  2. Lovely pictures, we have just planted a Magnolia tree in our garden, its just a stick!! my husband says the stake he propped it up with is more likely to flower than the tree, but I live in hopes.!!

    1. Oh dear, Polly, I wish you luck, they don't thrive without the right soil, but think positive, eh.

  3. Lovely pics of this fabulous place. How wonderful to see all that new life appearing at this time of year.

    1. Thanks, Christy, it really feels like we're on our way to summer now. Hope nature is thriving where you are too.

  4. This looks a great day out, lovely venue for a wedding. Hope you had a super time Mary. x

    1. Thanks, we're so spoilt for interesting and beautiful places to visit around here, eh Jacqui.

  5. Oh my goodness, what a beautiful and fascinating place. I would love to walk through those gardens and grounds. And yes, seeds are so beautiful. I love those tall mushrooms you're standing under.

    1. Glad you appreciate those mushrooms, Amy, we had a bit of an Alice's Adventures in Wonderland moment around those mushrooms!

  6. This looks like a fantastic day Mary. I love looking at the stately places. xx

    1. Yes, your shoots are in some lovely places. Maybe I should get out more, OOTD-wise.